One month after signing a minor-league contract with the Cubs to serve as a Triple-A player/coach Manny Ramirez is ready to make his Iowa Cubs debut.
Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Ramirez will be in Iowa’s lineup Thursday and the team released journeyman outfielder Casper Wells to make room for him on the roster.
Cubs president Theo Epstein has made it very clear all along that there’s no chance of the 42-year-old Ramirez being called up to the majors, but explained that “he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization.”
That now includes stud prospect Kris Bryant, who was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A last week, joining fellow top prospect Javier Baez in Iowa.
Ramirez played 30 games at Triple-A for the Rangers last season, hitting just .259 with three homers and a .698 OPS, and in 2012 he wasn’t any better at Triple-A for the A’s.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”